T-Mobile revives talk about a merger with Sprint

09/25/2013 9:53 PM

09/25/2013 9:53 PM

The on-again, off-again buzz about a Sprint merger with T-Mobile is on again, thanks to comments by T-Mobile executives.

Reports from an industry conference in New York center on their comments that link the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers as candidates for combination.

T-Mobile’s chief financial officer, Braxton Carter, told Reuters that a deal with No. 3 Sprint would be “the logical ultimate combination.” Reuters said Carter declined to say whether the two firms had talked.

Other executives of the upstart No. 4 carrier also raised the idea of building a bigger No. 3 carrier, according to Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche in a note to clients.

Officials with Overland Park-based Sprint declined to comment.

Shares of T-Mobile rose 64 cents, closing at $26.08. Sprint shares sank to $6.04 in the morning but rallied and ended the day at $6.19, unchanged.

Fritzsche wrote that T-Mobile management said “further (wireless) carrier consolidation is a matter of when, not if” and to not rule out entry of a new player in the industry.

Her note also cited T-Mobile executives as saying that a larger No. 3 carrier could create a more competitive environment than having four carriers. She said they don’t believe Washington is fixed on having four national carriers.

However, regulators derailed AT&T’s $39 billion deal in 2011 to buy T-Mobile. News of their potential merger had come amid heavy rumors that Sprint was about to land a T-Mobile merger.

Instead, Sprint, led by chief executive Dan Hesse, campaigned hard against the AT&T deal, saying it would leave AT&T and Verizon as a “duopoly” that would essentially control the market.

Videos

Join the discussion

is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service